Archive for Sunday, May 2, 2004

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May 2, 2004

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Rome

Tennis stars evacuated during fatal fire at hotel

A fire broke out Saturday at a luxury hotel in Rome, killing three people and forcing the evacuation of tennis stars Andy Roddick, Marat Safin and other players in the Italian Open, officials said.

None of the players was injured, although some -- including Safin -- had their equipment damaged, said Nicola Arzani, communications director for the ATP Tour.

The fire broke out about 5:15 a.m. in Room 305 of the five-star Parco dei Principi hotel, police and fire officials said. Police took two American women, 24 and 25, in for questioning because the blaze started in their room, but said they were being treated as witnesses, not suspects.

One American man died after he tried to escape the fire by shimmying down his balcony using a bedsheet and slipped, said police official Giuseppe Andruzzi. Firefighters found a Canadian couple dead in their bathroom, apparently after they suffocated from the smoke.

Above, a firefighter rescues someone from the hotel.

Taiwan

Earthquake hits capital

An earthquake shook buildings in the Taiwanese capital Saturday, the Central Weather Bureau said. Two people reportedly died in a landslide triggered by the temblor.

The magnitude-5.8 quake was centered on the island's east coast, 4.3 miles west from the town of Hsincheng, the weather bureau said.

The quake triggered landslides on a mountain road, and falling rocks killed two people traveling by car, cable station TVBS reported.

Heavy rain and traffic jams made communication with the scene of the accident difficult, and no more details were available, the station reported.

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